By Azar Gat (auth.)
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Additional resources for British Armour Theory and the Rise of the Panzer Arm: Revising the Revisionists
14s Since Hobart, with whom he had collaborated so closely and who had always held the same opinions as himself, was also victimized by that label, Liddell Hart was careful in his postwar writings not to associate himself too closely with him. In this he succeeded remarkably, breaking loose from the 'all-tank' charge, but at the cost of diminishing his own credit for the 1934-37 manoeuvres. As already mentioned, the misleading 'all-tank' label, which Liddell Hart did not create but which he used to his convenience, only served to blur the real issue, for no armour enthusiast anywhere during the interwar period had ever held an 'all-tank' conception, whereas most insisted on a cross-country and all-armoured, tank-heavy formula (in the case of Fuller and his disciples - an 'all-armour', no offensive infantry in 'tank areas').
The falling of the German attack plans into Allied hands when a German aircraft crash-landed in Belgium precipitated developments which had already been evolving before the incident. The Germans adopted Erich von Manstein's plan which switched their main offensive thrust, including most of their mobile divisions, southwards, to the Ardennes region. Almost simultaneously, the Allies, still expecting the main offensive to come from the north, adopted an even more ambitious version of the Dale plan, incorporating the so-called Breda 30 British Annour Theory and the Panzer Ann extension.
The armoured division he proposed was thus to be smaller than the existing one but composed almost entirely of tanks, supported by only a small number of self-propelled howitzers and wheeled reconnaissance units. I4o He was kept well informed of the planned reform by Hobart, who in late 1940 had been returned by Churchill from a forced retirement and given command of an armoured division, only to find himself again isolated and at the centre of controversy. l4Z Liddell Hart, however, continued to claim relentlessly that a true armoured division had not yet been created and tested anywhere, and that those presently bearing that title, including the German Panzer divisions, were in fact 'inverted turtles', in which a small armoured spearhead led a large, cumbersome and vulnerable unarmoured body.
British Armour Theory and the Rise of the Panzer Arm: Revising the Revisionists by Azar Gat (auth.)